Bellator 273 arrived in Phoenix, Arizona on Friday, with a heavyweight title unification bout topping the event.
Ryan Bader, having lost his light heavyweight title to Team Fedor’s Vadim Nemkov, was looking to avoid a similar fate against another of Fedor’s pupils, Valentin Moldavsky. Both men were undersized heavyweights with backgrounds in wrestling, leading many to wonder if that would result in a stand-up battle.
Moldavsky had claimed interim gold by defeating Tim Johnson, while Bader was moonlighting in the light heavyweight grand prix. Ahead of Saturday’s show, Bader had suggested he was done at 205lbs, and was ready to move forward as a full-time heavyweight.
In the co-main event, Benson Henderson looked to snap the worst skid of his career, and avoid a fourth consecutive loss. Islam Mamedov, however, was no easy out: the Dagestani fighter, a PFL veteran, hadn’t lost a bout since 2009.
On the Bellator 273 preliminary card, meanwhile, former bantamweight champ Darrion Caldwell returned, looking to spoil the promotional debut of former UFC fighter Enrique Barzola. Also in action, Ben “Big Tuna” Parrish. Having toppled Christian Edwards, then a teammate of Jon Jones, Parrish was up against Sullivan Cauley — a teammate and training partner of headliner Ryan Bader.
Familiar territory for Parrish, in other words, as he looked to earn himself a permanent spot in Bellator’s light heavyweight division.
The Bellator 273 preliminary card gets underway at 7:25PM ET, streaming live via the promotion’s Youtube channel — with an embed available above. The main card airs exclusively on Showtime in the U.S.; a live stream for viewers outside Bellator’s broadcast footprint can be found below.
Bellator 273: Bader vs. Moldavsky Results
Ryan Bader (c) def. Valentin Moldavsky (ic) by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) – for the Bellator MMA heavyweight championship / title unification bout
Benson Henderson def. Islam Mamedov by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Henry Corrales def. Aiden Lee by unanimous technical decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Sabah Homasi def. Jaleel Willis by submission (arm-triangle choke), Round 1, 1:42
Enrique Barzola def. Darrion Caldwell by TKO, Round 3, 3:01
Chris Gonzalez def. Saad Awad by knockout, Round 1, 0:36
Dalton Rosta def. Duane Johnson by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Nikita Mikhailov def. Blaine Shutt by TKO (punches), Round 3, 3:23
Lucas Brennan def. Ben Lugo by submission (arm-triangle choke), Round 1, 2:27
Sullivan Cauley def. Ben Parrish by TKO, Round 1, 4:35